W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org > September 2001

RAND licensing and open source software

From: Peter Wainwright <prw@wainpr.demon.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 12:28:17 +0100
Message-ID: <3BB701D1.3090903@wainpr.demon.co.uk>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Please think again about mandating patent-encumbered 'standards'.
It is not the business of a standards organisation such as the W3C to 
help any one
company acquire a long-term revenue stream from patents.
In addition, it would cause serious problems for the developers of 
open-source
software. Even where there is at least one large organisation that could pay
licensing fees, there would be horrendous complications. Consider an
application developed jointly by SGI, IBM and RedHat - who pays? As
for something like Mozilla/Netscape or OpenOffice/StarOffice, developed
jointly by a commercial organisation and a network of independent 
developers,
again, who pays?

Patents should never be applied to interface standards, only to 
implementation.
The W3C should confine itself to specifying clear interface 
specifications to
enable the widest possible interoperability. Remember that the Internet has
so far thrived because HTTP (apache), DNS (BIND), SMTP (sendmail) and
many more basic Internet standards have been implemented as OSS.

Yours sincerely,
Peter Wainwright
Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 06:29:48 GMT

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